“The Tiger’s Wife” is a work of contemporary fiction rich with both history and legend, reality and myth. Natalia is a young physician in the former Yugoslavia, on her way to an orphanage to provide vaccinations to the children there, when she learns that her grandfather has died far from home. She becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As she looks for answers, she uncovers an extraordinary World War II era story of a deaf-mute woman in her grandfather’s boyhood village who befriended a tiger escaped from a zoo.
Personal history, quest, myth, superstition and the aftermath of war combine to create a magical narrative.
Book synopsis adapted from Random House, Inc.
Téa Obreht was born in 1985 in the former Yugoslavia and spent her childhood in Cyprus and Egypt. At the age of 8, she drafted her first short story – about a goat – and decided to become a writer. She immigrated to the United States in 1997, studied creative writing at USC and earned her MFA from Cornell.
Obreht’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s and has been anthologized in “The Best American Short Stories” (2010) and “The Best American Nonrequired Reading” (2010). “The Tiger’s Wife” is her first novel. The New Yorker named her as one of the 20 best American fiction writers under 40, and the National Book Foundation included her in their list of 5 Under 35. Obreht lives in New York.